SEA Currents: Corwith Cramer
November 27, 2019
Setting Sail from St. Croix!
15˚ 15’N, 64˚ 28’W (approximately fifty-five nautical miles WSW of the of Isla de Aves)
4 lowers with a single reef on the main and the JT
29.8˚ C, mostly clear skies, force 5 winds from the ENE
4 ft. seas
On Monday we set sail from the Christiansted pier in St. Croix, USVI! The night before, we were all woken up every hour in pairs or triples to do a boat check so we could get in the habit of performing this critical task. A boat check allows us to see if there is something wrong with the boat that we need to fix. During each watch at sea, every single hour, a single person must do this.
In the morning, we woke up to fresh fruit, pancakes, and bacon! Breakfast (and all of our meals) happens in two shifts so people on-watch and off- watch have a chance to eat. After breakfast, the crew taught us how to climb aloft and deploy our science winch, and let us walk around the boat to familiarize ourselves with the different parts. Once those activities were complete, we learned what to do during a fire or if we had to abandon
Finally, at around 1400, we finally set sail! Many of us had to get used to walking around the boat with rockier waves, but, in the next few days, I’m sure we will all be used to it. Once we were farther from shore, we did a man overboard drill with a buoy as the “person” who fell into the water. All of the drills we learned today will be practiced once per week in order to cement it into our minds, in the unlikely chance something happens.
After the man overboard drill, the routine watches began. B-Watch started us off, then C-Watch from 1900-0100, and finally my watch (A-Watch) from 0100-0700. Each day we will rotate our watches and perform on-watch duties, such as the boat check, trimming and setting the sails, lookout, and steering.
It was an intense, long-time coming, but we finally made it out to sea. The first things we noticed were the flying fish that jumped up out of the water and the seabirds that flew down to snatch up fish. We’re all hoping to see larger animals as we continue on into the open ocean, but, for now, we are all simply relishing in the Caribbean sunsets. We’re all looking forward to living on the ship for the next four weeks and learning how to become real sailors. Though we all can’t wait to see Grenada, the ocean is where we all want to be.
- Jemma Dickson, College of the Atlantic